Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

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President Joe Biden speaks at the Sportrock Climbing Centers on Friday, May 28, 2021, in Alexandria, Va. Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden began Memorial Day weekend by visiting a rock climbing gym in northern Virginia as the state removed all COVID-19 distance and capacity restrictions on private companies and much of it. of the nation pushes towards a greater sense of normalcy.

Biden tried to use the stop Friday at the Sportrock climbing centers, a 1,670-square-foot space of climbing and bouldering walls, a gym and yoga studios, to celebrate the progress made as the country seems to turn the corner. coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 593,000 Americans and 3.5 million people worldwide.

The president, who later paid tribute to the with an address at an Air Force base elsewhere in Virginia, took advantage of the day to thank the Americans who have already received the vaccine (approximately 51% of Americans are fully vaccinated) and went urge again Americans not to receive the shot.

“Across the country we have gone from the pain and stagnation of a long dark winter to a moving economy,” Biden said. He added: “Americans of all festivals, races, creeds have come together and rolled up – literally – and done their part.”

This year, the long holiday weekend that marks the start of the unofficial summer comes at a time when and state governments are relaxing the rules of masking and social alienation now that most Americans are vaccinated and there are more people who want to get back to their pre-pandemic routines.

Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

President Joe Biden speaks with Sportrock Climbing Center President Lillian Chao-Quinlan as he tours the center on Friday, May 28, 2021 in Alexandria, Va. Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday lifted coronavirus-related restrictions on capacity and social distancing in the state. By May 15, it had already withdrawn Virginia’s indoor mask mandate for people completely vaccinated for most indoor environments, though companies may still require masks if they want to.

Biden appeared delighted by the Sportrock climbers, who looked puzzled as the president watched them climb. A reporter asked him if he would like to try it, Biden replied that he would like it, but suggested that he start with one of the easiest walls.

“I won’t try the corner wall. I’d try that wall,” Biden said with a smile, pointing to a flatter climbing wall.

The visit came as Biden pressured Republican lawmakers to support a massive infrastructure bill to rebuild roads and bridges, replace millions of lead water pipes and more, which the White House puts within reach. economy when the United States turns the worst public health crisis in more than a century.

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden speaks at the Sportrock Climbing Centers on Friday, May 28, 2021, in Alexandria, Va. Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden speaks at the Sportrock Climbing Centers on Friday, May 28, 2021, in Alexandria, Va. Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden marches with First Lady Jill Biden after speaking at Sportrock Climbing Centers on Friday, May 28, 2021, in Alexandria, Virginia. Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden listens as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks at Sportrock Climbing Centers on Friday, May 28, 2021, in Alexandria, Va. Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrive to speak at Langley-Eustis Joint Base in Hampton, Virginia on Friday, May 28, 2021. Credit: AP Photo / Patrick Semansky

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden listens as First Lady Jill Biden speaks at Langley-Eustis Joint Base in Hampton, Virginia on Friday, May 28, 2021. Credit: AP Photo / Patrick Semansky

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden speaks at Langley-Eustis Joint Base in Hampton, Virginia, Friday, May 28, 2021. Credit: AP Photo / Patrick Semansky

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden speaks at Langley-Eustis Joint Base in Hampton, Virginia, Friday, May 28, 2021. Credit: AP Photo / Patrick Semansky

  • Biden marks the progress of the vaccine, thanks to the troops before the holidays

    President Joe Biden speaks at Langley-Eustis Joint Base in Hampton, Virginia, Friday, May 28, 2021. Credit: AP Photo / Patrick Semansky

“I think the American people are more prepared to come together than Congress and the elect,” Biden said.

Later, Biden traveled to Langley Eustis Joint Base in the Tidewater region to thank American troops for their service. After beginning with an emotional memory of his late son Beau, a veteran, Biden acknowledged the sacrifices not taken by service members and their families.

“You’re the best of what the United States has to offer,” Biden said.

Biden also highlighted his recent decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan later this year, expressing his gratitude to members of the service who made multiple trips during the longest war in the United States.

“My message to you is simple: thank you,” said the president, who added that “1% of the population advocated 99% of the rest of us. You’re amazing.”

The president had planned to travel to his home in Wilmington, Delaware, where he is expected to spend most of the holiday weekend. He was scheduled to attend a Memorial Day event there Sunday before returning to Washington and visiting Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.


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